FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is everyone the product of their Age (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   
Author Topic: Is everyone the product of their Age
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I was in high school (private school classical corriculum, class of 10 (Freshman class had 15 but since they graded on the curve some would flunk out others give up.) I had a teacher who claimed that everyone is a product of the age in which they are born. That it is impossible (to step outside the box) no matter how hard one strives to brake free.

I like reading quotes of famous or notable people to get a quick synopsis of what they were about. What that teacher said didn't come to mind until I read a quote by George S. Patton JR. "If everyone is thinking alike then someone is not thinking."

What do you think?

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Depending on how you define the "box," your teacher is probably right. But so is Patton.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it is more accurate to say that it is only possible for any given generation to step a certain distance outside the box. Over time, if everyone steps outside the box in a particular direction, the box moves.

Yay for convoluted metaphors.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I was in grade school I remember a teacher whisperd in the ear of one of the students and told him to pass it on. Of course the message was totally different by the time it reached the last student.

When we learn something, even in higher education, we are the last student to recieve the message through a long line of teachers each of whom added their own fluf. It is important that we study each origional source and do some critical thinking inorder to step outside the box if necessary.

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
HollowEarth
Member
Member # 2586

 - posted      Profile for HollowEarth   Email HollowEarth         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm pretty sure that the lesson from the telephone game isn't that teachers distort things, although that might be true. The lesson from the telephone game is simply that whispering is a poor way to communicate anything important.
Posts: 1621 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This sounds like a great essay topic. [Smile]

My answer would be "yes and no."

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's an awfully big box.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sterling
Member
Member # 8096

 - posted      Profile for Sterling   Email Sterling         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would hesitate to make the age of one's birth the primary evaluation tool of one's nature. I would imagine a typical person who grew up in the 60's in Berkeley, California, would be very different from one who grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the same era. Likewise someone who grew up in Italy during World War II, vs. someone growing up in, say, Jamaica during the same era. Whereas someone who spent their youth in San Francisco in the 80s might have a fair amount in common with someone who spent their youth in SF in the 00's.

Somewhat speculative on my part, I'll grant.

Posts: 3825 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sterling
I ment era or society into which one is born. Like being in a current with everyone else but unable to reach still waters. Or in a forest evaluating trees but unable to evaluate the forest because the only criteria available is that which is taught and believed by the great minds of the interior forest.

So what are some real ways of stepping somewhat out of the box?

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beleaguered
Member
Member # 11983

 - posted      Profile for beleaguered           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One might say a way of stepping outside the box is to do the unexpected. But to do the unexpected would then become expected since someone might have said to do it . . . I think my head's about to explode!

Raymond,
I'm a fan of convoluted metaphores, and I like yours. If everyone started to think outside the box, then the box shifts a little. Is the shift with the box an expected shift, or does the shift become a new standard by which people think and act?

Posts: 135 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aspectre
Member
Member # 2222

 - posted      Profile for aspectre           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Get real, we're cutting with steel.
If no one could break outta that box, we'd still be cutting with broken rocks.

Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
aspectre

Actually we have laser and water jet cutting now. For get the box. Put it this way: If everyone is thinking alike how can one think differently? That is getting out of the box of peer pressure and academic pressure to conform to a certain mold.

To quote Patton again: "If everyone is thinking alike then someone is not thinking." So what can you do to ensure that you are the one who is thinking?

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I apply the hermeneutic principles of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson argued in one of his essays that true mindful experience is devoid of emotion, that by working from a priori principles, one could come to new insights based on nothing more than eternal symbolic representation.

He had this analogy that living life was like watching the pictures made by flickering flames and silhouettes on a cave wall. But what was it that made the shadows we see? The real eternal experience must be in mentally accessing the forms behind the flames.

That makes sense to me.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Claudia Therese

(Smile) From the "a priori" sense rises common sense. But that "a priori" sense also rules the the work of intuition which has been defined as: "Ideas that are arrived at without rational thought". (I didn't read that but I quote a teacher that said that.) The word, rational carries the understanding that it is a conscious application of reason and logic. It also implies that intuition is not logicial. It can not be assumed that because the intuitive process is hidden from the conscious mind that it is not a logical process. The process of intuition is one of forming visualization by the means of connecting wide-ranging data into inter-dependant relationships. (The forms behind the flames.) This is not a haphazard process but must first meet the "a priori" criterion of logic that exists hidden below our conscious mind before it is presented to the conscious mind.

Einstein would never have arrived at the Theory of Relativity (which depended to a great extent on his intuitive process) if his intuitive process used some different criteria then his conscious mind. The subconscious is filled with unproven hypotheses in need of more data to pass a test of tenability before presentation to the conscious mind.

"The value of intuitive thought is directly proportional to the quality of the internalized logic used by and individual and the veracity of individual facts".

"Intuitive thought is hidden inductive reasoning and a process of establishing interdependent relationships between known facts to be presented to the conscious mind in holistic form." I quote myself.

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Smile)
Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tatiana
Member
Member # 6776

 - posted      Profile for Tatiana   Email Tatiana         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think one way to think outside the box is to read widely, from all cultures and times in history. That gives us a good view of the ways that culture limits thought from the outside, so then we can apply it from the inside. Another way is to trust yourself and your own opinions enough to carry them through to their logical conclusion. You have to learn not to mind being different. Everyone has a community of some kind, but you have to learn not to mind it when your communities roll their collective eyes at your ideas. There's actually a pretty large penalty to be paid when you refuse to go along with the mainstream. Years later, probably long after you're dead, the mainstream may or may not ever catch up. But it's not about getting your due, it's just about the integrity of speaking and choosing the truth as you know it. There's a beauty and purity in that. No amount of affirmation from the outside world could make up for the compromised feeling of going against it, you know?

We actually are all products of our times and cultures, and we see the world through those lenses. But it's possible by integrating knowledge from all times and places to go beyond that. That's really what education is all about. It turns you from a provincial, narrow thinker into someone with far broader horizons, with a longer view. It makes you someone more than you were.

Posts: 6245 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xann.
Member
Member # 11482

 - posted      Profile for Xann.   Email Xann.         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:

He had this analogy that living life was like watching the pictures made by flickering flames and silhouettes on a cave wall. But what was it that made the shadows we see? The real eternal experience must be in mentally accessing the forms behind the flames.

That was Plato. As "Plato's allegory of the cave"
Posts: 549 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now, I never knew Emerson was a plagiarist! That's a shocker.

No, I think it was Plato who argued we should dig out the caves in order to have a place to view the puppet show; i.e., that we should carve out a place, mentally, for surcease from logic and for entertainment. That's why he's called "Plato" - it's an abbreviated form of "Play, too." See, for him the play's the thing.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*laugh* Oh, CT, you're cruel.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tatiana
I agree but would like to add that everything is connected. That is, Springs from the same "a priori" well spring and basic "a posteriori" logic. Your statement:

"We actually are all products of our times and cultures, and we see the world through those lenses. But it's possible by integrating knowledge from all times and places to go beyond that."

Your statement extends to all learning. Athough there are different disciplines it is possible to get that, out of the box, insight from learning in a seemingly unrelated area. So if the sciences look down on Liberal Arts they may be missing out on insights in their own chosen field and visa versa. Understanding is holistic but communication is lineal. The hard work begains when the conscious mind sets to work explaining or proving the the verasity of that holistic insight by putting it into a logical lineal format.

[ March 09, 2009, 03:58 AM: Message edited by: Oshki ]

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I was in grade school, my mom told me that our family wasn't very good at math so just do your best. So, I thought of myself as a C student in math and that is what I got. The older brother of my best friend was an avid sci-fi reader. One day I picked up an old worn paper back by Isaac Asimov. In that book he said that people give off about the same heat as a 100 watt light bulb and that if one could convert a slice of bread (or two) into pure energy there would be enough power to drive a car to the moon. He also mentioned that when a baseball player in the outfield sees the ball come off the bat and runs to the point where the ball will come down; what that ball player had accomplished subconsciously and almost instantly, is equivalent to the math needed to put something on the moon.

The above is not exactly what was written but my memory of it.

After I read that book (Even though I had noticed before but did not focus on the fact) I began to notice that when I got my graded math tests back that most of the wrong answers were ones that I had changed from the correct answer and had always mumbled to myself "I knew that was the right answer why did I change it". I came to the conclusion that my subconscious was doing the math and keeping track of my grade point average (as programmed by my expectations) so that I would stay in the box my mom built.

Can anyone of you point out any boxes that you have also identified?

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One more example:

In basic subtraction we were taught to carryover. Instead of doing all the line outs down the line on the top, I simply added on the bottom. So, if I needed to subtract 8 from 0, I did turn the 0 into 10 just as before and put down 2 as the answer then add one to the next number to the left bottom. If that was originally 2 minus 1 but untouched so that 1+1 = 2 then 2 – 2 = 0 which is the same as going through the whole lineout mess.

That may be confusing, so to subtract in your head 261374 from 370265: 4 from 5 =(1) 7 from 16 = (9) 4 from 12 = (8) 2 from 10 = (8) 7 from 7 = (0) 2 from 3 =( 1) so 370265 – 261374 = 108891.

Of course I got in trouble for not showing my work so I would do the subtraction in my head then go back over and do all the line outs and carryovers for show. So I stepped out of the box my Mom built. Perhaps, we can never step out of a box but only make the box we are in bigger as Tatiana said:

quote:
"We actually are all products of our times and cultures, and we see the world through those lenses. But it's possible by integrating knowledge from all times and places to go beyond that. That's really what education is all about. It turns you from a provincial, narrow thinker into someone with far broader horizons, with a longer view. It makes you someone more than you were."

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We are all products of the society or societies (family, friends, community, country etc.) in which we grew up. Even if we deliberately break out of it, for example we attend university when it's a 'not done' thing in the family, we are still products of that society because we are perhaps consciously or unconsciously responding to the societal rule we have broken.

In that sense, the only way to break out of society is to undergo a dollhouse-like wipe; one that not only removes our memories but also the very way our brain is constructed.

I say the latter because our early lives (first two years, say) influences the way our brains are constructed/develop. If we live in a crappy orphanage where we lie in cribs doing nothing, we will not develop correctly: we will lack social skills, communication skills etc. Even if we are removed from the orphanage and put in a home where there is lots of noise and colour and people interacting with us, our intial "society" or lack thereof will impact the way our brain processes information forever. We will have to work hard to lay down connections that should have been laid down much earlier.

This is true in a more normal situation. A very quiet home, a very noisy one; both are going to have an effect.

A harmonious, positive multicultural community is going to lay down ideas about different cultures at an early age that will be difficult to erase.

On a wider scale, a lot of people are impressed by the ideologies of their era. Watching movies filmed at airports and planes prior to 9/11 there is a major difference in the way we react to incidents at airports and on planes.

I think that yes, we are impressed from the moment we open our eyes with the way our societies function.

Here's an example of societal attitudes changing: Think of William Wilberforce who was the dude who basically pushed through the ban on the slave trade in England at the beginning of the 19th century. As an MP, he worked very hard for a number of years but ultimately failed. It wasn't until a few years later-- when the idea of abolishing the slave trade had had some time to rest-- that the bill could be passed. Obviously, there was an attitude change.

Is this a change of era (different brains) or a change of brain (biological) or simply a change of mind (informational)?

I know that as a person born right at the end of the Soviet era that the recent resurgence of aggression seems utterly ludicrous. These aren't wars that are still being fought in my brain at all, but they are clearly still being fought in certain people's minds. My brain is rigged by the society in which I grew up to not view Russia as anything but a friend, not someone I'm going to battle with over the North Pole.

The same goes for the recent post-IRA violence in Northern Ireland. It feels unreal because I'm just not rigged that way. If the violence continues my brain will re-adapt.

quote:
"We actually are all products of our times and cultures, and we see the world through those lenses. But it's possible by integrating knowledge from all times and places to go beyond that. That's really what education is all about. It turns you from a provincial, narrow thinker into someone with far broader horizons, with a longer view. It makes you someone more than you were."
I think it's more complicated than this (I mean, obviously this is a simplification, but I mean it's lacking a slightly addition). We can be brought up to be more open to new ideas introduced by education or new people. Canada, for example, expends a lot of time on this kind of (positive!) brainwashing.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've read this entire thread and I still have no idea what the heck "the box" means:

quote:
I had a teacher who claimed that everyone is a product of the age in which they are born. That it is impossible (to step outside the box) no matter how hard one strives to brake free.
I think posts in here are working from a couple different assumptions of what it means but nothing I think of really makes sense. Attitudes and culture? I know plenty of people who do, as do we all. After enough people do it, it gets named (e.g. the "counter-culture" revolution) and if it's successful it becomes the new attitude and culture. So in that sense either it's incredibly common or truly impossible since you live in your own age and anything you do is part of it, thus you can't break out of yourself. Of course if it's the latter this whole thing becomes a rather trivial truism.

Maybe remove the assumptions of our time? There's really no way to know how many assumptions we've made unless we've identified them and having done so we have clearly chosen to keep them (so what good would breaking out of that box do if it's going against your desires?) or we do remove them in which case: box broken. In other words, there's no way to tell if there's a box there or not in this case!

I think I just don't get it.

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10602 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noemon
Member
Member # 1115

 - posted      Profile for Noemon   Email Noemon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
I apply the hermeneutic principles of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson argued in one of his essays that true mindful experience is devoid of emotion, that by working from a priori principles, one could come to new insights based on nothing more than eternal symbolic representation.

He had this analogy that living life was like watching the pictures made by flickering flames and silhouettes on a cave wall. But what was it that made the shadows we see? The real eternal experience must be in mentally accessing the forms behind the flames.

That makes sense to me.

Wait, are you sure that was in one of Emerson's essays? I could have sworn that that was actually from one of his novels.
Posts: 16059 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

posted March 11, 2009 02:51 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I've read this entire thread and I still have no idea what the heck "the box" means:"

Well maybe I can help you out. I take it that you are analytical, which is a good thing, but perhaps the reference to boxes is in itself is a problem. The boxes that hedge us in are made out of assumptions. Most of those assumptions are correct but a few are not. So when I asked about stepping out of a box, what I meant and should have said was simply: Have you discovered any false assumptions in the things you were taught?

So I will substitute set for box. The biggest set is the Times we live in which includes all humanity. Then there are the Sciences, Arts, and other areas of learning and all the different groups with their own world view and so on all the way down to the finial set which is the individual.

Each individual has his own set of assumptions. Each individual is a set. Each individual is alone. Just as no one has to tell some one else not to look at the son because it is just something we do not do so looking at our individual state of isolation is something we just don’t do. But if we do look we may realize that we are individually responsible for everything that we believe. The teachers that taught us are in the same boat. That deposit of knowledge and assumptions that we have is the ruler by which we judge the world around us.

If I were to ask the question: If you really hated someone, the slime of the earth, how would you torture him? If you answered that question (unless you were a doctor or pain specialist) you would be revealing your greatest fears. Because the only ruler we have to judge others is ourselves. That is why a thief jealously guards his possessions. Since he steals others are capable of it. The cheating spouse will soon become suspicious of his own spouse and may accuse them of cheating because he is doing it. The faithful spouse is the last to find out because they wouldn’t do that so they wouldn’t dream that it was possible that they were cheated on.

But you can judge others and identify their assumptions by what they say and false accusations are often what they would do. If you take this to heart then you just stepped out of a box.

I posted something in the thread about porn being degrading to women. After I made my main comment, I threw in something about the possibility of homosexuality being a form of narcissism because they want the same as what they see in a mirror.

If you go to that post and read the comments posted right after my post you should notice that the comments they made validate the above argument. It is obvious that they assume that homosexual view each other the same as man and woman view each other. Also they put themselves into the mix to show that the idea was ludicrous.

But was I serious about the narcissism?

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shan
Member
Member # 4550

 - posted      Profile for Shan           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just got home from yoga. Our last few minutes is all about building a safe "box" or "niche".

I like mine. It's a safe little turret with a comfy rocking chair, quilt, fire in the fireplace, cookies, wine, books and cuddly cat.

We are supposed to practice going there to help stay de-stressed.

Unfortuantely, I keep misplacing the key to the door in, and therefore don't spend much time in my "box."

/derail

Posts: 5609 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vyrus
Member
Member # 10525

 - posted      Profile for Vyrus   Email Vyrus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There is not box.

I don't believe that there is a definite "box".

I think that you can be conditioned by society and family and personal leanings to construct your own box of what is acceptable, of what is possible, but there are, have been, and will be people who will completely disregard this statement and go completely on their own route, regardless of whether or not that ground has been trodden on before.

In a world where your only standards are your own, it doesn't matter what's been accomplished by others and what hasn't, and since everything you do is new to you and uniquely your own, there is no box unless you make one.

Maybe I've been reading too much Rand.

Anyway, there are only "boxes" that are constructed by your own mind.

There are obvious exceptions, such as a person from two centuries ago attempting to fly or listen to punk rock or develop ideas on foreign outsourcing, because none of these things had been invented or known of yet, whether or not they had already been concepts.

To do all of this, the person would have to invent it all, and then act within it.

This is highly illogical.

I still have to say no, though, in a more philosophical sense; you can decide what you have to do, barring obvious limitations.

We can't have a discussion here on issues that won't even exist for another fifty years.

Posts: 135 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beleaguered
Member
Member # 11983

 - posted      Profile for beleaguered           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Vyrus,

You raise some very interesting points that could possibly debunk the "box" idea as some may perceive it. I don't think this idea is totally busted, because there aren't enough true individuals in this world to say the phylosophical "box" doesn't exist to some degree.

I agree with you, that everyone creates a "box" in which they place their base beliefs and standards in which they live their lives, and that "box" could be different from other's, and a good example would have to be people who come from varying cultures, or countries, and whom live by completely different standards, beliefs and values.

Now we have to figure out how big this "box" is Oshki might have been referring to. I think there is a small individual box, one that we create and live in ourselves, and a larger one that houses the basic standards, beliefs, and values of the majority of the smaller "boxes". I think, based on this idea, there are still quite a few different types of larger "boxes" on the earth, considering the above information.

Oshki, which is it?

Posts: 135 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Oshki:
When I was in grade school, my mom told me that our family wasn't very good at math so just do your best.

My father told me that we were the greatest and smartest people in the world....
Posts: 1574 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
T:man

And I told my children that they are very smart in all subjects, with positive results.

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vyrus
Member
Member # 10525

 - posted      Profile for Vyrus   Email Vyrus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by beleaguered:
Vyrus,

You raise some very interesting points that could possibly debunk the "box" idea as some may perceive it. I don't think this idea is totally busted, because there aren't enough true individuals in this world to say the phylosophical "box" doesn't exist to some degree.

I agree with you, that everyone creates a "box" in which they place their base beliefs and standards in which they live their lives, and that "box" could be different from other's, and a good example would have to be people who come from varying cultures, or countries, and whom live by completely different standards, beliefs and values.

Now we have to figure out how big this "box" is Oshki might have been referring to. I think there is a small individual box, one that we create and live in ourselves, and a larger one that houses the basic standards, beliefs, and values of the majority of the smaller "boxes". I think, based on this idea, there are still quite a few different types of larger "boxes" on the earth, considering the above information.

Oshki, which is it?

I think, to be more accurate, it's less of a box and more of a "fence", if that makes any sense.

Hopefully not semantics, but...a box connotates limits that are impossible to break out of, a literal barrier.

Fences, or lines, or boundaries may be overcome, but not without pain or discomfort or maybe even getting into some level of trouble.

So, there's the "boxes", the absolute, finite limits, like what one can do within the reaches of science, and then there's the fences or boundaries, what one will ALLOW oneself to do without breaking edicts either imposed by themselves, or others.

Posts: 135 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oshki, how old are you?
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
beleaguered
Member
Member # 11983

 - posted      Profile for beleaguered           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Vyrus,

Based on that logic, something such as a barbed wire fence, or how about one of those electronic perimeters- in conjunction with the shock box around the neck or something, like the ones dog owners use to keep their dogs within the "box" they set for them.

That actually works for this analogy, doesn't it? This way we are still in our box, but it's a box set in place by someone before us (parents, community, Nation), and is around us in all directions. To leave the box that's set up would be shocking- psychologically and possibly physically.

What do you think Vyrus or Oshki?

Posts: 135 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have been tested and found to be equally analytical and intuitive. It may be unfortunate that I chose to use the word box. Although I notice that those that have taken philosophy or are more intuitive have not really had any hardship with the idea of being boxed in and limited by assumptions at any level. The box is built by ourselves or by others with our permission or our inattention. It is up to individual to examine what is believed and why it is believed.

Here is a little poem that I wrote when I was experimenting with poetry. The immature will laugh and may think base thoughts at the last line and will probably not get it. The poem is about the analytical on one hand and the intuitive on the other. And what may be truly loved may be anything as well as anyone. Thinking plainly means reduce everything that you can to like terms then play with them whether in math or in ideas.

On the right hand.
Talk plainly-
to be understood.
Think plainly-
to understand.

On the left hand.
Bare your soul
with visions of your love
Roil the fecund mind
with simile and metaphor in prose

But when you deal
with the one you truly love
given to you from above.
Don’t be a half wit!

Use both hands.

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But people do leave the box or the field or whatever the metaphor is. However, they don't leave it in all directions at once.

I think what this "box" or "field" is a set of assumptions or 'givens' about the world. They are things we take for granted, things that are knee-jerk.

This could be, for example, a cultural uncomfortableness with homosexuality. My parents are uncomfortable with homosexuality and insist there's something fundamentally different about the way gay people think beyond the obvious.

I remember my friend first telling me that she was bisexual and how surprised and thrown I was. I wasn't angry or opposed to her in anyway, but I was quite shocked. I knew homosexuality existed, I had been taught to regard it uncomfortably via my parents and openly in my community, but it was beyond my cultural box.

It wasn't very long, however, that the fact that there were gay people around was utterly normal to me. I think I changed my box here.

Now, this is not a huge stretch because of course there were people around me who had already changed their boxes and I merely aligned mine with pre-existing ideals.

But I think our brains are not as set as we think they are towards some things. I bet there are few people to whom a cultural aversion/reaction/attraction would be insurmountable. Especially in the young. This can be positive (accepting homosexuality) or negative (accepting terrorism). Usually there is something to draw on, though: a general sense of acceptance or background anger.

However, we've all heard of those studies where ordinary people turned into torturers and tormentors in a conducive situation. Soldiers are capable of socially meeting people one day and firing on them the next.

This sounds like the opposite of what I was saying in my previous post, but I think it is not. Terrorists, torturers and soldiers are all acting within a new box, but it is the box of all their comrades. It's easy to become accepting of homosexuals when your good friend is one and a lot of people occupy the box you're moving to.

Group brain-changes demonstrate how easy it is to change our minds, but I think that it is the singular brain-change (which can be positive or negative) that is the really extraordinary occurrence.

But I think it is very, very, very rare. How many people change their ideas about the world without any form of model to follow? There is very rarely the 'first' man. In the Bible, for example, Jesus' followers were, you could say, pre-conditioned for accepting H/his ideas by John the Baptist.

Ever noticed how scientific advances seem to come in groups? Scientists often discovered similar things at similar times. I think this is an example of the fact that new ideas are often a product of a series of events in which a number of scientists are led up to water-- some, inevitably, drink.

As a counterpoint, many individual advances were made by people working in odd places. Einstein is the obvious example. He was thinking, but was not immersed in the theoretical physics community. It is easier to think outside a box when you do not see the contents of the standard box every day, when your information becomes a little blurred and a little out of date. In short, when you forget precisely what the box contains. Working 'in your field' is, perhaps, overrated-- notice the terminology of that expression!

So, are people like Einstein true box-escapers or are they people who merely found themselves in a different box and made use of what they found? Must we require people to be living within the box in order to truly break out of it? Or is accident-- not being able to get a job in your field for example-- enough to say you think outside one or a number of boxes?

Of course, we most often simply switch boxes. You leave the uncomfortable-with-homosexuality box and enter the totally-fine box, but they're both pre-existing boxes. There are so many ideas in the world that it's hard to say when a mostly new box has been invented. If Jesus was a real person he certainly had a mother who brought H/him up with a certain set of ideals and stories. Our mothers, as we know, have a massive effect on the way we think. Jesus could have been popularizing his mother's ideas: I have already said that family is the smallest box in which we live.

This aside from however many years the family spent in a foreign country. It is a common story that a newcomer or a returnee changes the way his or her people think because he or she has lived outside that particular box. After that, it's just down to charisma.

Most box-breakers seem to merely expand or contract between boxes. They spread some version of their family's ideals, or they bring some wider ideals back into their family (a love of education, for example).

Ultimately, I think that there are two ways of leaving boxes. 1) Being aware of your restrictions and assumptions which helps you to overcome them. 2) More dramatically, being unaware that there are any restrictions or forgetting what they are can create totally new or hybrid boxes.

I think we naturally conform, yes, and we are natural products of fields or boxes. But I do think it is very possible to change boxes. What is hard is creating new boxes, or living mostly within a box but not conforming.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For those students of philosophy here is a site in which one can find "a priori" arguments against Kant and others. This is the site of Monsignor John F. McCarthy who is the founder of the School of Neo-Patristic Theology. (He must be ancient by now but is still publishing.)But if you are interested in a different view.

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/index.html

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For my part, since I believe sentience is largely an illusion, I believe that all we have is the box. You don't leave the box; things -- including you -- make changes to the box. And in a very real way, you are the box.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, that's mostly a matter of what you mean by box. In that you are always yourself, you are always within a box.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scholarette
Member
Member # 11540

 - posted      Profile for scholarette           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking at the OP original two quotes, I don't think they contradict each other at all. Being a product of the times is going to define the subjects you think about but not what you think about it. For example, looking at these boards, lots of people are thinking about ssm. But they are coming to drastically different conclusions. Two hundred years ago, I doubt it would even occur to people to think about the ethics of ssm and I would predict that in 200 years, no one will think much about it either.
Posts: 2223 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In that you are always yourself, you are always within a box.
Yes. And given that you are always the product of your environment and genetics, you can never escape that box.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vyrus
Member
Member # 10525

 - posted      Profile for Vyrus   Email Vyrus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Cute cheesy rap beat).
AND A BOX IN A BOX IN A BOX IN A BOX

AND A FOX IN A BOX AND A FOX IN THE SOCKS

I CAN'T SAY IT, MR. FOX

I'M SO SORRY, MR. KNOX

Sorry, had to.

(And, yes, I'm aware that's a paraphrase [Razz] )

Anyway, Oshki-yes, something like that. But many are self-imposed. Like if you make it a personal decision not to do something, an idea you accumulated through personal experience, you might not build a fence, but you might just stay away from that part of town; the Boonies, if you will.

(Okay, kids, got your pencils? That's boxes boonies and fences.)

So, it's not that you CAN'T overcome it with relative ease, it's that you choose not to. For instance; phobias. (I'm afraid of bugs, and miniature figurines or dolls. My mom had a collection of them. I still can't touch a toy below four inches. It freaks me out.)

As for Teshi-there are varying levels of boxes, yes.

But there are also people who, for whatever reason, are inclined not to even notice the boxes-they go completely about their own way, not even noticing whether or not they're in a box.

They might not even know of its existence.

It's like monsters or the Devil or superstition-if you don't believe in it, it can't hurt you.

(This, obviously, is not true for some things, like gravity.)

Many of us are in boxes.

But some of us either buy or make a box cutter, or use our hands [it's not that hard to rip out of cardboard, but if you were encased in it you might think otherwise.) and some of us never notice it in the first place, or not until we cross it, and then just brush it off. (Like walking through a spiderweb.)

So many euphemisms for euphemisms.

(Did I spell that right?)

:exasperated sigh:

Posts: 135 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes. And given that you are always the product of your environment and genetics, you can never escape that box.
Agreed. This is what I said above:

quote:
In that sense, the only way to break out of society is to undergo a dollhouse-like wipe; one that not only removes our memories but also the very way our brain is constructed.
However, for the purposes of argument, we can externalize the boxes and have people-- on some level-- moving between them or living out of them.

It's all illusory.

Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Teshi
I would say that you are on track. You sure used the term box a lot (smile). I stated earlier that each one of us is alone. We seek out others with the same world views and values. Simply because being alone is not acceptable. If one were to ask a prisoner if instead of being put into isolation for a month they could choose the punishment of a good whipping, the ones that had experienced isolation before would take the lashes. Once we are part of a group of like thinkers we refer to ourselves as us and those that do not share our views as them. They are other. If our group believes that the world is flat but you figured out that it is really round then the problem isn’t just one of ideas but of changing your groups’ sense of reality, and worst then that, you would become “other” to your group. The pressure to conform is one wall of the box.

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On track for what?
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teshi
Member
Member # 5024

 - posted      Profile for Teshi   Email Teshi         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I think that "pressure to conform" in the "being consciously considered other" sense is just one wall. I think most walls are more subtle than overt peer pressure. You may intend to include that in what you just said.

It can be as subtle as a set of assumptions. When Newton "discovered" gravity, he didn't discover it in the sense that he found it. It was there all along, he suddenly had to assume something totally different from the way people normally thought about why things fall.

I'm reading The Blind Watchmaker at the moment and Dawkins talks about bats and how we normally think about how crazy it is that bats "see" with their "ears". But, he points out, our way of seeing is no more normal than bats' way of "seeing" with sonar. We can only think about the way bats perceive in terms of our own abilities.

quote:
On track for what?
Fame and fortune I hope.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vyrus
Member
Member # 10525

 - posted      Profile for Vyrus   Email Vyrus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is a perfect example:

http://xkcd.com/32/

Posts: 135 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Teshi
quote:
It can be as subtle as a set of assumptions. When Newton "discovered" gravity, he didn't discover it in the sense that he found it. It was there all along, he suddenly had to assume something totally different from the way people normally thought about why things fall.

I'm reading The Blind Watchmaker at the moment and Dawkins talks about bats and how we normally think about how crazy it is that bats "see" with their "ears". But, he points out, our way of seeing is no more normal than bats' way of "seeing" with sonar. We can only think about the way bats perceive in terms of our own abilities.

When I said that you were on the right track I meant that you look at problems from all sides.

Perhaps Newton wanted an apple and sat down to rest after jumping repeatedly trying to pluck one off a high branch. While looking out over the great expanse of the country side and thinking that he couldn’t quite jump high enough, the apple hit him in the head. Then and there he could have connected the vastness of the earth or mass with attraction. (Sorry, just daydreaming about what it would take to have such and intuitive leap. Besides, the apple would have been attractive to him.)
Newton also wrote the Laws of Motion. The first law of motion or Law of Inertia not only applies to mass but also applies to human beings. So if something is in motion it will remain in motion as to speed and direction unless acted on by an unbalanced force and anything at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. As applied to humans translates into: “There is no change without confrontation.” Confrontation can range from direct and life threatening which will cause immediate change to self motivation, which is the most liked, but effects the least change. (New Year’s resolutions)

How do you think that the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics could apply to communication?

[ March 13, 2009, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Oshki ]

Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Oshki
Member
Member # 11986

 - posted      Profile for Oshki   Email Oshki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is human communication not the necessity of a carrier wave to distinguish a signal against background noise.
Posts: 83 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vyrus
Member
Member # 10525

 - posted      Profile for Vyrus   Email Vyrus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oshki-

I think it could to some extent.

If there were a situation in which you could somehow be left on your own yet still survive with food, shelter, and medical care, without ever seeing human or animal contact, and without seeing its reflection, it would absolutely nothing like a human you had ever seen before, as far as behavior went.

Even the sight of another human, as it had seen itself, would completely throw it out of balance.

You would be nothing without human, animal, world and social contact-you are shaped by your environment.

As for the acted upon by an outside force thing, this isn't entirely true.

For instance, part of that "conditioning" would likely be included with influence and maybe even coercion. But there are some people so unbearably thickheaded that if you try even slightly to convince them of something, they will refute it with every ounce of their being.

You could argue that their defensiveness or their complete ignoring of your every appeal was in itself a reaction, but it stems from the viewpoint that every factor in your environment slowly molds you, whereas yours would have little overall effect.

For some people it's the complete opposite cause, the exact same reaction (the ignorance, not the defensiveness.) Some people possess a quiet confidence, rarely, but sometimes it will be perfectly and completely self-assured and at peace, and they don't see your reasoning for the fact that they know, or think theirs to be true.

No reaction.

Is this somewhat what you meant?

Posts: 135 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2